We know how it is; you spend hours cramming at home for that big work project, catch a measly five hours’ sleep and sit slumped at your desk, strong coffee in hand the following day.
Unmotivated is an understatement. But before you know it, you’re in a vicious cycle of no sleep-more coffee-even less sleep. So to help you enjoy a more refreshed and productive you, we’ve put together our five top tips to tackle insomnia.
1. ‘Get writing’
The NHS website has some sage advice, telling stressed insomniacs to write away their worries. The site suggests, instead of letting things get on top of you, you should deal with worries or a heavy workload head-on by making to-do lists of jobs to be tackled the next day. The goal, the site says, is to avoid writing such lists when you’re in bed trying to sleep, and instead take a small portion of your day to do it. This will eradicate any unnecessary worry and should help you to doze off naturally.
2. Create a sleep haven
The key to ensuring you can enjoy a better night’s sleep is in creating a restful sleeping environment. If your bedroom’s full of work stuff – your laptop and piles of paperwork – you’ll find it difficult nodding off for the simple fact that the office will be on your mind. Instead, keep your room as quiet and as dark as possible. Control the temperature so it isn’t too hot or too cold, and make sure you invest in a good mattress and bed frame. The good news is there’s a range of next day beds available online to help you enjoy your best night’s sleep yet. Plus, if you have a pet that sleeps in the room with you, you may want to consider moving him or her to another room to help you enjoy optimum comfort and relaxation time.
3. Start moving!
It may go without saying, but upping your daily activity – trying an evening walk or a light jog – will give you an improved chance of getting the recommended eight hours’ sleep each night. Don’t go all-out and do anything too vigorous exercise-wise before you go to sleep, as this may have the opposite effect and actually keep you awake.
4. Cut out caffeine
You may be cutting out caffeine or other such stimulants for Lent, but how about making it more long-term? Any stimulants, especially in the evening, will get in the way of you falling asleep. Did you know, too, that the effects of caffeine can last up to 24 hours? Halt the habit now and you’ll quickly find you can drift off more naturally at night. You could also sip a warm, milky drink in the evening to boost your chances of a great night’s sleep, too. Similarly, avoid alcohol too close to going to bed, and try not to overindulge on heavy, carb-loaded foods, too.
5. Don’t worry
It’s easy for us to say, but the less you let your mind whirr with the day’s worries the more chance you’ll find yourself dropping off when your head hits the pillow. You may discover that listening to some quiet music will help you drift off and won’t allow your mind to wander onto work or home worries in the same way. And if you can’t sleep, simply get up and do something else – like reading – until you feel sleepier.
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